Wacky Weather and Other Stuff

Or What’s Been Going On The Last Couple of Months

 

The weather in May was quite crazy. We had a snow storm that started on the evening of theย  21st and continued into the morning of the 22nd. That is the latest snow I can recall in a long time. Now if we lived in the mountains that would not seem so unusual, but I live in the ridges and grasslands of Nebraska.

 

Three days later we were back to normal May weather with temperatures back where they should be in the 75 to 80 degrees range. So I spent the day mowing the “back forty” and turning soil over by the shed. I also put the rocks back in place under the downspout of the gutter for the shed. The little johnny jump-up flower is still doing well.

 

May 26th was spent celebrating Connor’s 1st Birthday(my second grandson). I can hardly believe it has been that long. He is such a cute little fella. He has lots of personality with a bit of orneryness thrown in.

 

The last day of May was just gorgeous. So Sully joined me outside, while I puttered around the yard doing things.

 

Just hanging on the step.

 

 

I transplanted my 4 sweet pepper plants in front of the shed by the steps. Last years flowers around the deck seeded well. I sprinkled a new box to fill in the bare spots. I decided to check choke cherry bushes in the backyard. I had been smelling the flowers on the breeze. I took these photos of said flowers. That done I called an end to my puttering.

 

June started out nice. I decided to give the grass around the water spout a trim this day. I can’t get the mower in close enough. So with scissors in hand I gave that grass a nice buzz cut.

 

I also loosened the soil in the flower bed under the bedroom window. I sprinkled a box of wildflowers here. That is when I noticed that the stray irises were putting on canes this year. This is the first year they will bloom after they got left behind when I cleaned the rest of them out back in July of 2015.

Blooming yellow irises.

 

The weather continued to be wacky, out of the four sweet pepper plants only one survived to mid June. The green bell pepper plants were finally ready to go outside. I planted three in the old sweet pepper spots then two more beside those. I decided to put the only two wall o’ waters we had around the last sweet pepper and one of the green bell plants. At the end o f June we got lots of rain again. I lost the two plants in the wall ‘ o waters when they collapsed on the plants. So I will have no sweet peppers. I still have the four unprotected green peppers on this side of the shed. If you look in the left hand corner of this photo you see a bushy little plant. That is a stray carrot from last fall. I just left him to grow just to see what he would do.

Two wall o’ waters and four unprotected green bell peppers.

 

The rest of the green bells were planted on the east side of the shed. These seedlings were grown in cardboard egg crates. Each cup had two seeds in most of them both seeds sprouted. I cut them into individual cups and planted them that way. I found six old coffee cans to go around them.

Six coffee can peppers.

 

I also got more flowers seeds sprinkled during this time and got the gladiolus bulbs in the ground. Wouldn’t you know we started another wet spell. I was hoping that they would not get saturated and rot like last year.

We are now in mid July and every thing is growing nicely. Remember that carrot I mentioned earlier in the post?
This is what he is doing. He has several flower heads. I think I will have some carrot seeds pretty soon. Once he seeds out I will pull or dig him out to see what the bottom half did. The four remaining peppers are doing well in this area.

 

The peppers in the coffee cans are just starting to peek over the tops of the cans.

Peek a Boo! We see you!

 

The flowers have started blooming in the deck beds. The baby’s breath was first. A couple of small white cosmos and a pink centered white bachelor button. This purple button was in the middle of the bed. On the corner of the deck the gladiolus did not rot out. The west end has catnip, cosmos, and lots of petunias.

 

The south window bed is not doing so well. Most of the wildflowers I sprinkled here were washed away by rain. A couple of marigolds from last year manage to sprout once the weather stayed warmer. There maybe one or two flowers from the wildflower mix on the west end. Next yardening day I need to weed it to find out for sure.

Weed Me, Arlene! Weed Me Now!

 

The west window bed is just getting started sprouting. I sprinkled a wildflower mix here too. This time I went ahead and lightly covered it with soil, so they didn’t get washed away. The Johnny jump-up in the south corner is just going wild this year.

 

And finally in plant related news…
Our neighbor had the second tree on the south side of the driveway felled. I think this wacky weather took its toll on the poor thing. It may have got infested with something and the weather didn’t help matters. This was our Wednesday evening entertainment.

 

 

The kitties have been just doing kitty things. Sully likes to sleep. Little Kitty likes to sit and stare at me. When they weren’t doing those things they would both assist with crochet photo shoots.

 

With all this rain this spring and early summer the shed roof has been leaking. David had Nick get on the roof to put sealant in the leaky spot. With that done David decided that the shed needed to be aired and dried out. So Milly the Shed Kitty got to come in so that the door could be left open to do just that.
She is now living up to the second meaning of Shed. Nick and I have been brushing her like crazy. She jumped on my tv tray by the kitchen table. I brushed for twenty minutes and removed the fur from the brush four times. I think there is a good sized tribble in the trash can now. ๐Ÿ˜€

How Does My Garden Grow?

Ever So Slowly.

 

The weather is not being at all cooperative this spring, if you could call it that. It can’t make up its mind if it wants to hang on to winter a bit longer or jump right on over to summer. I have been trying to get out and do a little bit each day that the weather is nice.
I finally got around to raking out the flowerbed around the deck. There were lots of leaves. The upper ones were dry but as I got lower in the pile closer to the ground it was very moist. Even some small puddles of water.

 

It also disturbed quite a few of the leaf litter dwellers. I saw black beetles scurry away, an inch long brown centipede squiggle away, and about three young wolf spiders ran up the deck wall. Earthworms were also present. I tried to cover them with some soil so they could find their way back underground before they dried out or the birds found them.
When I was starting to rake out around the deck I managed to break the claw rake. It had broken last year but David was able to fix it with super glue. The metal “nail” that held the claw to the handle rusted out this time. I just threw the claw part on this stand. I took out the wooden handle by the shed steps and replaced it with the plastic covered handle from the just broken claw rake. I put the old wooden handle next to the burn barrel. David said the other day that he was needing a new longer stick for stirring the trash as he burns it.

 

Davidย  bought me this cute little leaf rake to replace the claw rake. It worked well getting into the smaller spaces. I was also able to rake out the soil after I had turned it with a shovel.

 

I pulled all the dead marigold plants out of the junk pile bed on one of my outside days.

I was expecting to find an iris plant there, but I think the gophers found it before the ground froze.

There was now sign of it.

 

The Junk Pile Bed and removed marigold plants.

 

The irises are coming up in the corner of the shed flower bed.

They are also coming up in the bed under the south bedroom window.

The Irises in the corner of shed flowerbed.

 

 

I have been bringing Sully out with me each day too. He is glad to be able to find more available grass to munch. He also has a spot in the lawn that he just sits and smells and drools all over. I can’t tell what is there that is of such interest. I don’t see any catnip in the spot, so there must be some other plant that catches his fancy.

 

 

Now that I have raked the flower bed I have uncovered some catnip.

 

 

The rest of the photos showing the raking of the deck flowerbed.

 

 

Sully surveys my work. He finds a clump of grass to nibble. Then he finds his way under the steps. There is no catnip under the steps yet but he did find this tree sapling to nuzzle and drool on.

 

 

When I finished raking for the day, I decided to just sit on the deck step and enjoy the sunshine on my face. As I looked up at the sky I saw a small black spot in the tree at the far end of the driveway. It was the neighbor’s kitty. I call her Little Blackie because I don’t know her actual name. She is a climber she has startled David and I both when we come outside and she is on our roof. I had to talk her over to the deck area one day so that she could jump down onto the shed roof then onto the deck to get down. One day she startled Dave when she jumped from the roof onto the swamp cooler in the back yard. If she had been in one of the trees over the roof of either trailer this day I would not have been to concerned, but this tree just hangs over the driveway and I didn’t want her to fall from that high up. I decide to walk over to the tree and talk her down. She was a very good listener. She followed my instructions and got safely to the ground. She thanked me by rubbing on my legs, let me give her a couple of pets, and then laying in front of me rolling around. I walked back over to the steps and she found a shady spot to lay in the driveway like nothing even happened. Sully watched it all laying in his comfy, grassy, lawn. He kept an eye on Little Blackie after she laid down in the driveway too.

 

 

Friday I turned a small patch of soil in the deck flowerbed and raked it out with my new rake.
I was able to do a bit of indoor gardening today. I transplanted the four best looking sweet peppers into pots. I then got some green bell peppers started in an egg crate.

The Transplanting.

 

 

That is where I stand in the yardening this week. We are supposed to get some more of that white fluffy stuff again, starting Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday afternoon. We could get around 6 inches. I don’t think it will actually accumulate since the ground is still pretty warm so hopefully it does a lot of melting. So you see the weather is taking another turn back towards winter. I really wish it would stop doing that.

 

 

 

 

 

I Have Started My First Seedlings For Yardening Season 2019

and What’s The Name of That PBS Gardener?

 

I decided to start some sweet pepper seeds on Monday(March 25)because it looks like the temperatures outside are going to start being in the 50’s or better from here on out. So by the end of April or the first few days of May I can actually have some seedlings to put in the ground. I will also start some green peppers by the end of the week.

I saved some of the sweet pepper seeds from Monday’s dinner preparation. I had an egg crate handy, then I got a bowl of potting soil ready. I added water to the soil and stirred it up until it was all moistened.

 

Then I put soil in each section.

 

A seed was placed in each section and lightly covered with soil.

 

 

I then got my little green house out of storage and placed the egg crate on the bottom platform.

 

 

I just placed the side here to show you what it looked like unassembled.

 

I sprayed down the seeds. Then finished assembling the green house.

 

Hopefully by weeks end there will be an egg crate of green bell peppers joining the sweet peppers. If all goes well I should have some seedlings in a couple of weeks. I then will transplant them into a bigger planter and individual pots so they can continue to grow. They will need at least 5 leaves before they can go outside.

While they are inside doing their growing I will have plenty of time to get the beds around the shed ready for them.

The snow has almost all melted, but now we have soggy ground to contend with. The temperatures are getting steadily warmer so soil frost depth is getting deeper. This will help the moisture continue to go deeper and the upper soil to dry out a bit. So soon it will be time to rake out last years leaf debris, turn the soil, and rake it out level.

All that work will probably get all the wildflower mix and petunias that self seeded around the deck, turned up so they can start to sprout.

I will hold off on getting the area ready for the squash. Last year I didn’t get very many before the squash bugs took over.

David suggested that maybe I should start the squash inside then move them outside in mid-June or later to see if the squash bugs have moved on by then.

If they do show up, I plan to have a spray bottle of tobacco water ready to spray down the plants. I remember watching some gardener show on PBS as a kid(this would have been the late 70’s). He used tobacco juice and coke for a lot of his pest control. David has some left over pipe tobacco, that I think I will soak in water to make my spray. I think this will work even though I am pretty sure the PBS gardener used chewing tobacco. If anyone else remembers him it would be great if you know his name ,so maybe I could find him on YouTube. He had all kinds of great garden tips! ๐Ÿ˜€

 

I Had To Borrow My Son’s Camera Again

Because I needed to show you progress on the garden and flowers.

 

I needed to get pictures of the gladiolus canes that were almost finished blooming. Last night while water the flowers I noticed two more canes would be blooming soon and they were going to be PURPLE! I was correct this morning I was able to get this nice shot of one of the purple canes. The other one should be blooming by tonight or tomorrow morning. These make canes 4 and 5. I found a sixth one just coming on the other day. I don’t think all of them will cane before the weather gets to cold, hopefully I will have a better turn out next year.

 


The butternut and butter bush squash are doing well. So far they have not gone too crazy producing, we hope with the cooler nights they will say, “Hey, it’s getting cold we better get some more fruit on here!” It just doesn’t seem like we have as many as last year even though we have more plants.

The acorn squash are the same way not a lot of fruit yet, but we don’t have as many plants as last year.

2016 Garden196

ACORN SQUASH

We have this one plant we thought was sick or not getting enough of the proper nutrients. So David went to Googling and discovered that it is actually a different variety. It is a Golden Acorn, not your typical Queen Table Acorn which is what the green ones are. David thinks its seed accidentally got in to this package of Queen Table acorn.ย  There is also a variety called the Snow White Acorn, but we didn’t get a stray seed of that one. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

THE GOLDEN ACORN

THE GOLDEN ACORN


The peppers and tomatoes have been producing well. We have been using both in stir – frys and meat loaf.

The green peppers and a few of the sweet pepper plants have grown quite large.

2016 Garden201

I was able to pick 12 green bell peppers that day. The sweet pepper plants are loaded too. I won’t pick those until they turn their red, yellow, and orange colors.

I wanted to save some the green bells some how. So I dug out the food dehydrator that I have not used since buying it 8 or 9 years ago. I dried 6 of the 12 just to see how it would turn out. It filled the house with the smell of peppers for about 6 hours. Mmmmm! I think they turned out ok. I put them in a freezer bag then placed that in a glass jar in the pantry as the instructions with the dehydrator said to do.

I think the next bunch I pick I will try freezing. My daughter suggested I slice them place them on a cookie sheet that is covered with freezer paper and place that in the freezer. Then when they are good and frozen then place them in a freezer bag. I want to try this way instead of chopping them into chunks and freezing them straight into the bags. They are all mushy when you use them at a later date when done this way, in my experience.


A couple of weeks ago I decided to put a bed around the wild Johnny Jump – Ups. I found these rocks and thought they did the job nicely. I hope there will be more of them next year. I might even plant some of the helichrysums against the siding.

2016 Garden202

David and I went fishing a week ago. Where we wanted to fish there was a lot of small trees /bushes so David took the pruning shears to them to make a spot for me to set up my chair and fish. When I was carrying the branches away I noticed this. I know it did not grow this way on its own. I still thought it was neat and brought the branch home to show the kids.

I guess you could say it is the circle of life. ๐Ÿ˜€